All of a sudden, everybody’s playing the latest mobile gaming sensation – Pokémon GO. If you’re not playing it already, you’ve probably at least heard of it. This fun new, enhanced mobile reality game from the renown Pokémon Company and Niantic Labs has had a monumental impact on its user’s everyday routines. The location-based game has already been recognized for helping make both adults and children more active and provides a unique, fun way to get to know the community they’re in. This is good news for small businesses who can use this latest Pokémon craze to attract, engage and generate more business.

Following are the top 5 ways to leverage the Pokémon craze to drive more business.
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1. Dropping “Lures” to Attract Potential Customers
Pokémon Go offers a number of in-app purchases, with one of the hottest being a “Lure.” A lure can be put in a landmark for 30 minutes, which increases the percentage of Pokémon generated in a specific area. The Lure app can be purchased using Pokecoins, the app’s currency and is a powerful way to ” lure” potential customers onto your block and into your restaurant, retail store, etc.

2. Come up with Pokémon Signage
If you’re a Pokémon GO landmark, make sure to let passersby know by putting up related sidewalk signage. Give discounts (related to your place of business) for catching Pokémon in your establishment and/or for posting and tagging screenshots from the game on social media.

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3. Get Social
Leveraging the Pokémon GO craze to drive business pairs perfectly with social media – the opportunities are almost endless. You can post game shots/images on all of your accounts, as well as take advantage of user-generated content. For example, give some thought to holding a contest asking fans to post pictures of the evasive Pokémon they’ve captured in your establishment, tagging it in the post. Then you could offer a prize (dessert, latte, discount on a car detailing etc.) for the best photo.

4. Invite Player’s to Recharge
Offering your business as a place where Pokémon GO players can stop in to recharge while they are out hunting the elusive Pokémon is a fantastic way to drive business. In this case, it’s reasonable to ask for a small purchase like a cup of coffee or to set time common sense time limits, similar to what most businesses do that offer free Wi-Fi

5. Email Campaign
Another great way to let people know that you are a Pokémon GO hot spot is to send out an email marketing campaign. Via email you could encourage people to leave their usual walking route, stopping by your place instead.

The competition that considers the latest Pokémon GO craze to be no more than a fad is more than likely right. This is actually in your favor. Right now the game is exploding, making it a smart, “out of the box” business decision to embrace it, have fun and apply it to attracting new business. Just keep in mind that the more “in tuned” personal engagement is involved, such as asking players about their experiences, their teams or the Pokémon they’ve captured, the greater the sense of community and the more your efforts will generate new and repeat business.

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